America loves ranch dressing. Since 1992, it has been the most popular variety of salad dressing in the country, with more than twice the market share of its nearest competitor, bleu cheese – but it’s still quite polarizing.
There are two main camps when it comes to opinions on ranch: either you shamelessly love it, or you secretly love it (kind of like the new Justin Bieber).
In the Midwest, the idea of a culinary utopia is a world in which everything is smothered in ranch. And it’s here that a taste of that creamy, herbaceous heaven already exists. Twisted Ranch – a restaurant in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis – is Mecca for ranch lovers. It has 27 varieties of ranch.
Ranch is the primary flavor on every menu item from the bloody Mary (made with ranch-infused vodka and served in a glass with a rim dusted in ranch seasoning) to the cool ranch croquettes – balls of mashed potatoes mixed with cheese, bacon, onion and ranch dressing, breaded in cool ranch Doritos, and drizzled with your choice of, you guessed it, ranch dressing. Then there’s the big kid mac & cheese – penne tossed in a house-made cheese sauce with cheesy bacon ranch dressing, house-smoked brisket and bacon, and topped with crumbled tater tots and green onions.
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When you just can’t help yourself to 13 different kinds of ranch. – 📍Location: Twisted Ranch in St. Louis. Our rating 3/5. We enjoyed the ranch flight but the food was average and not worth the 2 hour wait. – – – – – #EatSleepTraveLinStLouis #stlouis #missouri #stlouisgram #explorestlouis #stl #stlgram #midwest #igersstlouis #igersmidwest #ranch #ranchdressing #twistedranch #yummy #nomnomnom #foodie #eats #fries #frenchfries #instafood #foodstagram #bucketlist #insiderfood #condiments #food #eat #igersusa #friesfordays #friesbeforeguys #eatfamous
Perhaps the most popular item on the menu is “ranch this country flight 13,” a basket of ranch-seasoned fries surrounded by a perimeter of 13 different ranch flavors of your choosing.
“Ranch is not just a dressing – it’s a sauce, a dressing and a dip,” says Jim Hayden, co-owner of Twisted Ranch. And, clearly, a way of life.
Available ranch flavors range from predictable (Buffalo, caesar, Sriracha) to more experimental choices a-la-Bob’s Burgers, like kemowasabi (wasabi and honey), red billy goat (red peppers and goat cheese) and sunny in fetadelphia (sun-dried tomato and feta).
If you don’t get your fill of ranch during your meal, be cool. Twisted Ranch sells a dry rub mix and to-go bottles.
So far, Hayden and his partner Chad Allen are doing very well as purveyors of the ranchification of modern cuisine, and their kingdom is growing. The original Twisted Ranch location, with only 45 seats, has had weekend wait times as long as three hours. Now plans are in the works for a new, larger space opening next year in the same neighborhood, that will have triple the seating and four times the kitchen space.
In addition to allowing for expansion of hours, that roomy new kitchen could give Hayden and Allen an opportunity to ranch up the menu even more. Until now, for example, they haven’t ventured into desserts. But ranch cream pie, ranch brûlée or ranch sorbet? We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
*This article was originally published in December 2017.